Submitted by arse-moriendi:
Hi all! I was cleaning out my garage when I found this little treasure:
This books has been well-loved over the years, as evidenced by the scribbling (not me, I swear) and it is, unfortunately missing a few pages. But I scanned them and cleaned them up as best I could, and now I want to share one of my favorite books:
From Billions to None: The Story of the Passenger Pigeon
October 1814. Population: 3-5 billion. October 1914. Population: 0. From Billions to None in a mere century.
Ohio, 1854. A dense, black shadow begins to creep across the northern edges of the horizon, slowly but incessantly blotting out a bright cerulean sky. Residents take notice, and pour out of their homes and businesses to stare in wide-eyed awe and trepidation at the phenomena edging towards them.
Hours pass, and the sky is hurled into unwavering darkness. Finally, as the day fades, the sun itself succumbs to this nameless power.
Men and women fall to their knees in prayer, begging for deliverance from the Revelational apocalypse. A thundering roar, like the beating of a million drums, assaults the kneeling petitioners, and their fingers turn icy as an arctic gale whips around their bodies.
A lone figure, hunting rifle in hand, stands atop a hill and stares at the pitiful scene before him. Shaking his head, he lifts his muzzle, peers straight and true through his sights, and pulls the trigger. Dozens of shapes, like tiny meteors, break away from the mass overhead and plummet towards the earth. Swinging his weapon over his shoulder in satisfaction, he picks up a burlap sack and swaggers towards the fallen celestial bodies. As he stoops and retrieves one of the mysterious figures, a pair of slate wings unfurls. He stuffs the Passenger Pigeon unceremoniously into his bag and moves on to the next bird…
(read more: Biodiversity Heritage Library)
tiny pigeon heart it is v cute and the tiny veins r way cool
Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups… So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.– Philip K. Dick (via theministryoftruth)
Since a three-dimensional object casts a two-dimensional shadow, we should be able to imagine the unknown four-dimensional object whose shadow we are.– Marcel Duchamp (via hnnhmcgrth)
End-Permian extinction happened in 60,000 years—much faster than earlier estimates, MIT study says
The largest mass extinction in the history of animal life occurred some 252 million years ago, wiping out more than 96 percent of marine species and 70 percent of life on land—including the largest insects known to have inhabited the Earth. Multiple theories have aimed to explain the cause of what’s now known as the end-Permian extinction, including an asteroid impact, massive volcanic eruptions, or a cataclysmic cascade of environmental events. But pinpointing the cause of the extinction requires better measurements of how long the extinction period lasted.
Now researchers at MIT have determined that the end-Permian extinction occurred over 60,000 years, give or take 48,000 years—practically instantaneous, from a geologic perspective. The new timescale is based on more precise dating techniques, and indicates that the most severe extinction in history may have happened more than 10 times faster than scientists had previously thought…
(read more: PhysOrg)
(Image: © John Sibbick / Natural History Museum)
1. a supernatural force believed to dwell in a person or sacred object.
2. power; authority.
3. (Anthropology - Polynesia & Melanesia): a concept of a life force, believed to be seated in the head, and associated with high social status and ritual power; any power achieved by ritual means; prestige; authority.
perfectly put. saddest reality.